In the past two blogs, we explored the first four stages of spiritual development, as outlined by the Arthur Ford Academy. These stages are: spiritual curiosity and interest; spiritual recognition; spiritual experiences; spiritual knowing; spiritual responsibility. Finally, we have reached the culmination point of the journey, and we are ready to take on the most important aspect of spiritual development – spiritual responsibility.
Spiritual responsibility sounds burdensome, with a list of duties and obligations. Nothing can be further from the truth. Spiritual responsibility is truly a joyful place to live! It is as simple as this: Be the light in the world. Live in love, not fear.
When a person reaches the fifth stage, there is a belief, a heartfelt knowing, that everyone and everything is connected to each other and to the One. A desire to show others they too are loved unconditionally, by Spirit, grows within your heart. You desire to serve others, in whatever ways possible.
Being light does not necessary mean your career will be in a teaching or healing ministry, but it might be. This is where the discernment process is essential. Each spiritually responsible person must nurture his individual relationship with Spirit to determine his soul/life purpose. Perhaps, your purpose is to work in the health care field, or to bring ethical values to the corporate world. Or, you may be called to become involved in environmental issues as a volunteer, or a protester. The possibilities are endless.
Being light has many implications. It is inherent in every thought we have. Every thought has an energy – if you have a negative thought about a coworker during a meeting, what effect does that have on the person? On the group of participants? For the outcome of the meeting? For the company? A spiritually responsible person recognizes the power of each thought and commits to bringing light into every situation in his life.
In the same way, every action, no matter how big or small, has an impact on someone else. One never knows the ripple effect of a smile directed towards a young mother with a crying baby; you may have given her the message to relax, all babies cry. Or, the effect of giving your bus seat to an elderly gentleman, making his journey less tiring, may bring comfort to his day. Or, a silent prayer for a speeding driver may help him to slow down.
While this kind of effort and attentiveness to all thoughts and actions may appear exhausting, it actually is not, when the connection to Spirit is maintained. One of my friends is my best model – she talks to Spirit all day long, as if Spirit is standing next to her (and Spirit is!). It can be anything from, “Ok, Spirit, let’s see if we can get all this food ready before the guests arrive,” to “Please keep us safe on this trip to the store,” to “Spirit, be with all the families affected by this tornado.” It is a constant conversation. So simple.
Attaining the stage of spiritual responsibility brings harmony and serenity into one’s life. A sense of calmness fills the human soul, reflecting a new perspective on the daily minutiae of life. Others will notice a quiet knowingness, a tranquil wisdom they wish they had in their own lives. And, when they ask what your secret is, an opportunity to bring light into the world exists!